A Timeline of Hunter Biden’s Life and Legal Troubles
With the news that the Justice Department has named a special counsel to investigate a wide range of conduct by President Biden’s son Hunter Biden, his life is bound to come under even more intense scrutiny.
A father of four with a law degree from Yale, Mr. Biden, 53, has acknowledged a decades-long addiction to alcohol and crack cocaine, and his foreign business dealings have led to questions about President Biden’s influence.
Here’s a look at key dates in the life of the president’s son.
Feb. 4, 1970
Hunter Biden is born, the second child of Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden. Hunter’s older brother, Beau, was born in 1969, and his sister, Naomi, was born in 1971.
Dec. 18, 1972
Neilia Hunter Biden and Naomi Biden are killed in a car crash while shopping for a Christmas tree near their home in Wilmington, Del. Hunter Biden and Beau Biden are seriously injured in the crash but survive.
Hunter Biden graduates from Georgetown University.
Hunter Biden marries Kathleen Buhle. They met in their 20s while they were both in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Portland, Ore.
Hunter Biden graduates from Yale Law School.
The period when Hunter Biden says he began drinking heavily at dinner, at parties and after work at Oldaker, Biden & Belair, a law and lobbying firm, where he had been a partner since 2001.
Sept. 12, 2008
Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign announces that Hunter Biden, his running mate’s son, has quit working as a Washington lobbyist. Records showed Hunter Biden’s clients included an online gambling venture, biotechnology companies and colleges seeking earmarks.
Hunter Biden and two other Americans join Chinese partners in establishing a Shanghai-based investment company known as BHR. The firm helped to finance an Australian coal-mining company controlled by a Chinese state-owned firm and assisted a subsidiary of a Chinese defense conglomerate in buying a Michigan auto parts maker.
Hunter Biden is discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. He had been commissioned as an ensign on May 7, 2013, and was assigned to a public affairs reserve unit in Norfolk, Va.
Hunter Biden joins the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that was under investigation for corruption as Joe Biden, then the vice president, was overseeing White House policy toward Ukraine. Hunter Biden made more than $800,000 in 2013 and more than $1.2 million in 2014.
May 30, 2015
Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, dies of brain cancer at age 46. Hunter Biden has a relapse of alcohol addiction.
The first anniversary of Beau Biden’s death sends Hunter Biden into a spiral of depression that leads to crack cocaine use and addiction.
Mr. Biden and Ms. Buhle finalize an acrimonious divorce after 24 years of marriage and three children.
The celebrity gossip site PageSix.com reports that Hunter Biden and Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, are in a romantic relationship.
Lunden Roberts, who lives in Arkansas, gives birth to Navy Joan Roberts, a daughter of Hunter Biden. In his memoir, Mr. Biden wrote that he had “no recollection” of his encounter with Ms. Roberts and that he had engaged in “rampages” with women after his divorce.
Oct. 12, 2018
Hunter Biden buys a .38-caliber handgun at StarQuest Shooters & Survival Supply in Wilmington. He asserts on a U.S. government form that he is not using drugs.
Hunter Biden leaves a damaged laptop with “alarming” and “embarrassing” content at a computer repair shop in Wilmington, according to the business owner, John Paul Mac Isaac. Mr. Mac Isaac says he copied the computer’s contents and told the F.B.I. about it.
Hunter Biden marries Melissa Cohen in Los Angeles, six days after meeting, according to ABC News.
DNA testing confirms that Hunter Biden is Navy Roberts’s father, and he is ordered to pay monthly child support beginning in 2020.
Hunter Biden announces plans to step down from the board of BHR as Joe Biden, campaigning for president, faces attacks over his son’s foreign business dealings.
Oct. 22, 2020
In the final weeks of his presidential campaign, Joe Biden falsely claims that “my son has not made money” in China and that “the only guy who made money from China is this guy,” referring to President Donald J. Trump.
Dec. 9, 2020
Hunter Biden discloses that he is under investigation by the Justice Department. The investigation, which began in late 2018, is led by the U.S. attorney in Delaware and is said by people familiar with the inquiry to have examined potential criminal violations of tax and money laundering laws.
June 20, 2023
Hunter Biden agrees to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his 2017 and 2018 taxes on time and accepts terms that would allow him to avoid prosecution on a felony charge alleging that he falsely asserted that he was sober when he bought the handgun in 2018.
Ms. Roberts and Mr. Biden end a yearslong battle over child support that requires him to give Navy Roberts some of his paintings and to provide a monthly payment.
Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer, tells Congress behind closed doors that President Biden spoke to his son’s international business associates for more than a decade. According to Democrats, Mr. Archer said that the elder Mr. Biden was not party to any of his son’s business deals and that Hunter Biden had tried to sell the illusion that he was providing access to his father.
July 26, 2023
A federal judge in Delaware, Maryellen Noreika, puts on hold the proposed plea deal that would have settled Mr. Biden’s tax and gun charges, saying she did not want to be “a rubber stamp.”
July 28, 2023
President Biden publicly acknowledges Navy Roberts for the first time, saying that he and Jill Biden “only want what is best for all of our grandchildren, including Navy.”
Aug. 11, 2023
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announces that David C. Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware, has been elevated to special counsel status in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s conduct. Prosecutors file court papers indicating that the proposed plea deal in Mr. Biden’s gun and tax case has collapsed, making clear that they expect the case to go to trial.
Michael Levenson joined The Times in December 2019. He was previously a reporter at The Boston Globe, where he covered local, state and national politics and news. More about Michael Levenson
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